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A streaky windshield is not only annoying, it is dangerous. Don’t let your wiper blades put you in risky situations. We’ll show you how to change them. See us all Autoblog ranched Video for more tips on how to diagnose, fix and repair a car from professional dealer Larry Kosila. While you’re at it, watch a video series of Larry’s other car cleaning and maintenance Autoblog Details!
A streaky windshield is not only annoying, it is dangerous. If your windshield wipers don’t fit you or wiper fluid squirt, I’ll show you a few tricks for crystal clean glass. Here’s what you need to do to get the job done:
Remove the lines
Windshield wipers tend to be ignored, unless you go to use them in the rain or snow and discover that the wipers are worn and you won’t see the road ahead. And the last time you thought about hitting your washer fluid button, nothing happened. These two problems can be easily avoided. – Even though I clean my windshield with obsession, sometimes I get lines. Can I do anything with the wiper blade myself to prevent it? – Absolutely. A lot of times, your blade has some imperfections and things that you can clean up. Also, the windshield can be dirty.
Your blade is sharp
But, if the blades are damaged, you need to replace them. There is no way around that. Your blade should be replaced every six months. Spring and autumn are a good time to do this. First, run your fingers under the blade. Is it smooth, or do you think build up? To clean your blades, place some isopropyl rubbing alcohol or glass cleaner on a clean, light colored soft cloth and lightly stroke the length of the blade. Do this a few times, and you will see black spots on the clothes. It’s a good idea to do this every time you wash your car.
When it comes to changing your blades, keep in mind that when you replace them, they are actually sold by the length. Auto parts stores usually have an application guide, with a wiper display, where you can easily find the sizes needed for the front and rear windshields.
Wiper Anatomy 101
There are three basic style mounts: side post, j hook, and bayonet, however, aftermarket or upgrade blades have adapters to fit different mounts. Check existing blades to select suitable clips. To remove your old blade, you need to press a tab or sometimes a button to release the plastic wiper. Try to remember how the old blade was attached to make the new installation easier. Try to avoid cheap replacement blades, as they can streak and usually run out quickly.
Although most people simply replace the entire unit, you can only install one refill, which is part of the flexible rubber. Usually, you can only do this with your original factory blade or some aftermarket style. Refills take longer to install, and can be a bit frustrating to get right, but they were cheaper than replacement blades and if purchased from a dealer, they are of the same quality as the original equipment, so if you use a blade it’s a good alternative budget.
There are also different types of wiper blades and brackets: beam style and old conventional bracket style. The beam style is more aerodynamic, and has become the standard in most vehicles today, because they are smoother, and less likely to be drawn by the wind or make noise. There are also winter blades for extreme weather, which are more resistant to freezing, as the frame is stiffer and the rubber is a special synthetic designed to work well in cold winter weather. Replacing the wiper blade in pairs is a good practice, and if you have one, be sure to replace the rear wiper as well.
A close shave
Thoroughly clean the windshield before installing new blades, and use a razor blade if necessary to remove hard debris from the windshield, which can damage the rubber of the new wiper. Use a razor blade fairly at a 30-degree angle, like shaving glass, and no, you won’t scratch if the glass is angled properly.
Don’t forget your washing fluid
When filling your wash reservoir, using flat water is never a good idea, especially in northern climates, as it can freeze and crack lines. It’s cheap and easy to stick with an All Weather Washer Fluid Mix and then switch to a winter disinfection solution as winter approaches. If your washer jets are not aimed properly, use a pin or a paperclip to pierce the hole and redirect the target. You can use pins to fill a wax, or to unlock plugged jets. Before waxing your car, put tape on the jets to avoid getting excess product in the hole, which will dry out and block or at least redirect the flow of washer fluid. Driving in the rain or snowstorm is not the time to discover the need to replace your wipers. Regular maintenance of your wiper and washer fluid will help you see the road ahead in any season. To learn more about car repair videos, check out Autoblog Ranched.